"Ackley and Stanciu enlarge our understanding of Wisconsin Oneida history and the work of Haudenosaunee women."—Native American and Indigenous Studies
"[Explores] an often overlooked but integral and arguably paramount figure in pre-1930 American Indian literary and political circles."—Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers
"Editors Kristina Ackley and Cristina Stanciu compiled a book that does not only serve as an eye-witness account of the dire years between 1901 and 1929, but also (re)establishes the legacy of an activist, poet, organizer, ethnographer, and, first and foremost, a community member devoting her life to her people."—The Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies
"Recovered newspaper articles by and about Kellogg lend fascinating insight into how she cultivated personae, including that of an Indian princess, and engaged multiple audiences to become, in Ackley and Stanciu's words, ‘the voice of the Oneidas on the national scene’."—MELUS
"Gathers Kellogg’s essays, poems, and speeches while making a convincing case for her inclusion in any discussion of the most visionary and courageous Indian intellectuals of the twentieth century."—Transmotion
"Oddly, the explosion of scholarship about Native Americans has often featured more examples of historians talking about Indians than of scholars helping us hear indigenous voices. This book is an exception. Thanks to Ackley and Stanciu we can now hear clearly a unique and challenging voice, set in context and brought to life by two outstanding scholars. Read and reflect."—Frederick E. Hoxie, University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign
"This work will restore to the field of Native American studies an important but often forgotten figure. The time is right for a critical reevaluation of Laura Kellogg’s writings and political legacy."—Scott Manning Stevens, director, Native American Studies Program, Syracuse University
"Our Democracy is Kellogg's most comprehensive discussion of the difficulties American Indians faced and the fullest explanation of her plan to develop cooperative industrial villages on Indian reservations."—A. LaVonne Brown Ruoff, author of American Indian Literatures
Laura Cornelius Kellogg was an eloquent and fierce voice in early twentieth century Native American affairs. An organizer, author, playwright, performer, and linguist, Kellogg worked tirelessly for Wisconsin Oneida cultural self-determination when efforts to Americanize Native people reached their peak. She is best known for her extraordinary book Our Democracy and the American Indian (1920) and as a founding member of the Society of American Indians. In an era of government policies aimed at assimilating Indian peoples and erasing tribal identities, Kellogg supported a transition from federal paternalism to self-government. She strongly advocated for the restoration of tribal lands, which she considered vital for keeping Native nations together and for obtaining economic security and political autonomy.
Although Kellogg was a controversial figure, alternately criticized and championed by her contemporaries, her work has endured in Oneida community memory and among scholars in Native American studies, though it has not been available to a broader audience. Ackley and Stanciu resurrect her legacy in this comprehensive volume, which includes Kellogg’s writings, speeches, photographs, congressional testimonies, and coverage in national and international newspapers of the time. In an illuminating and richly detailed introduction, the editors show how Kellogg’s prescient thinking makes her one of the most compelling Native intellectuals of her time.
Kristina Ackley is a tenured member of the faculty in Native American and Indigenous Programs at the Evergreen State College where she also serves as the Community, Culture, Justice Curricular Area Team Leader.
Cristina Stanciu is an associate professor of English and director of the Humanities Research Center at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Series: The Iroquois and Their Neighbors
6 x 9, 336 pages, 21 black and white illustrations